By: Erica Chase-Salerno
My family had a terrific time at our recent visit to Edgwick Farm in Cornwall, NY. Our tour of this goat micro-dairy and creamery began with co-owners Talitha and Dan in the Viewing Room, where we watched goat cheese being made. From there, our tour leader Cara led us a short distance down the driveway to the shed, where we met the farm donkey and the two male goats. The next stop was the hoop house, a large enclosed space where all of the adult female goats are housed, with a separate pen inside for the baby goats, or kids.
Cara warned us that goats have no sense of personal space, and we immediately understood what she meant when these affectionate animals walked right up and rubbed up against us, stepped on our feet, or climbed on us. If you are small or seated on the ground, the goats get even more physical, so I suggest being extra-watchful with young children who might be easily overwhelmed. My kids discovered that the goats were fond of nibbling on mittens, mouthing the tassels on their hats and chewing on the lift tickets on their jackets, which we swiftly tucked away. While we hung out with the animals, Cara answered all of our questions and told us their names.
Next, we lined up to visit the absolutely adorable babies in their enclosure within the hoop house. Only a few people are allowed in at a time, so as not to overwhelm the babies, plus the space is small. The goat kids are snuggly, soft and rambunctious, and they climbed all over us. These babies were in a constant happy swirl around us. One kept climbing up on my son’s back and zipping down his shoulder like a slide. The goats are bottle-fed, but feeding is not usually part of the tours. We got to peek at the milking room before heading back to the Viewing Room for the final leg of our tour: tasting samples of goat’s milk and a delectable array of goat cheeses.
The farm is so small and manageable that there is not much walking to do, but the uneven ground won’t work for strollers. The parking is very close to the tour area, and the bathroom is right next to the viewing room.
Our loving interactions with all of the animals more than made up for the little bit of dirt that ended up on our clothes, especially our shoes. Keep in mind that these hooves climbing on us are the same ones that walk in goat urine and droppings on the hay-covered floor. My warm technical pants got covered in bits of straw, so I recommend wearing a fabric that you can just brush off, like jeans. I also suggest bringing clothing that you can change into afterwards, especially shoes.
Edgwick tours are available by reservation only and take place on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Visits are capped at 15 people per tour, and tickets cost $10 per person; children under 2 get in free. While you’re there, ask where the name Edgwick comes from!